BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis, and here is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
SAGAL: This week, we are proving to you that you were all wrong. 2016 was not the worst year ever.
KURTIS: Sometimes, for an hour on the weekends, it was quite passable.
SAGAL: For instance, on this show, we offered some encouraging stories about your health. Here's our panel telling you about three of them. Sadly, only one is true.
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RYAN CONNOR: Hi, this is Ryan Connor from Silver Spring, Md.
SAGAL: Oh, Silver Spring, the beautiful suburbs of Washington, D.C.
SAGAL: Very nice there. What do you do there?
CONNOR: I coordinate wellness programs at a charter school in Baltimore.
SAGAL: You coordinate wellness programs.
CONNOR: Yes. So we do, like, nutrition programs, fitness programs, social and emotional health, lots of other things that are focused on helping the students be happy and healthy.
SAGAL: And how is that working? Are they happy and healthy?
CONNOR: We're working towards it.
SAGAL: All right. It's a work in progress. Well, Ryan, welcome to the show. You're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Ryan's topic?
KURTIS: Nine out of 10 doctors agree - they were wrong.
SAGAL: All our life, we have been told the things we love are bad for us - fatty foods, television, Colombian hookers.
SAGAL: Well, this week, we learned about something we thought was bad for us actually turning out good. Our panelists are going to tell us about it. Guess who is telling the truth, you'll win our prize - Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
SAGAL: All right. Excellent. First, let's hear from Peter Grosz.
PETER GROSZ: Like many of you, growing up, my mother always told me never to swim right after eating lest I be stricken with a painful cramp. Well, it turns out - just like when she told me if I kept making that face it would get stuck that way - she was wrong. This week, at an Olympic qualifier swim meet in Madrid, Spain, Luisa Castillo arrived at the pool just minutes before her race without having eaten any lunch. She had no choice but to scarf down a last-minute plate of chicken before diving in. But instead of cramping up, Luisa got an incredible boost of energy and beat the world record in the 100-meter butterfly by over two seconds. The Spanish team doctor, Ignacio Montes, explained (imitating Spanish accent) the stomach become swollen with food and acts like a small life preserver, keeping the swimmer closer to the surface of the pool where she can glide along much faster.
GROSZ: Luisa's excited teammates followed her example, and soon they were all shoveling mounds of Spain's beloved tapas into their mouths on the edge of the pool immediately before their races - shrimp skewers, tortilla espanola, ceviche, even full trays of paella. It was, swimmers, take your marks, wipe the sauce off your chin, go. Of course, since it was tapas, they never really knew exactly how many to order, and they wound up getting way too much food. And it was impossible to split the check because not everyone drank sangria and some people basically drank a whole pitcher by themselves. But the results in the pool were undeniable.
SAGAL: Eating before swimming turns out very good if you want to swim fast.
SAGAL: The next story of something we can finally enjoy without guilt comes from Marina Franklin.
MARINA FRANKLIN: We've been told all about how sitting around all day staring at screens is bad for you. But today is the day where we're telling those researchers to take several seats. NASA has done the research and sitters make the best possible candidates for the next generation of astronauts. Sitting increases a certain amount of body fat necessary for cold climates found on certain planets. Gaming experience had by our slothful workers have actually increased their intelligence necessary for space exploration. The hiring process can be grueling, though. Sitting for 16 hours and binge-watching a full season of "Scandal" without peeing - that can be hard for some people. Sitting decreases the amount of caring so much that even danger and the possibility of death during space exploration is not even considered. Best of all, when briefed on the danger of their mission, the indolent sitters said, so, and, OK. And who cares, really?
SAGAL: Turns out, sitting around, staring at screens all day makes you excellent astronaut fodder. Your last story of a taboo becoming to do comes from Tom Bodett.
TOM BODETT: If the last time that creepy kid from freshman algebra you haven't seen in 20 years sent you a Facebook friend request you thought to yourself I'd rather talk to random strangers at a Baltimore bus stop and clicked off, you're probably healthy. For the rest of us who can't seem to tear ourselves away from the digital wasteland that is our Facebook lives, try dropping acid. That's right. Psychedelics researcher Dr. James Fadiman discovered that taking a tiny dose of LSD for breakfast allowed him to give up Facebook.
BODETT: Author Baynard Woods backed him up, saying the most remarkable effect of the microdose was that it broke my addiction to the internet. I rode the bus around town lot, aware that we carless Baltimoreans were all in the same boat as we stood around waiting for the ever-elusive next bus.
BODETT: Then, no doubt, he really looked at his hands.
BODETT: Others have reported sleeping better on LSD, returning to exercise, yoga and meditation. It's like the '70s without all the hair and sex.
BODETT: Research continues to see if the reason LSD has the effect it does on Facebook addiction is that it quietly distorts the world, breaks down boundaries, makes the mundane seem more interesting, like Facebook.
SAGAL: All right, here are your choices...
SAGAL: So one of these things you thought might be bad for you, but it has a good effect. Was it from Peter Grosz, eating right before going into the pool helps a team of swimmers go much faster; from Marina Franklin, sitting around and staring at a screen all day makes you an excellent candidate for space travel; or taking LSD in small doses helps you get off Facebook? Which of these is the real story of a bad thing doing good?
CONNOR: So I was a swimmer for most of my life, and I did not hear anything about the Olympic trials in Spain. So I think it's - I'm going to eliminate that one. And so I think I'm going to have to go with Tom's of dropping acid...
SAGAL: You're going to go with...
CONNOR: ...Helping get rid of Facebook.
SAGAL: Well, we spoke to someone very familiar with the true story.
BAYNARD WOODS: Taking small amounts of acid was really helpful for working. And breaking my internet addiction was the really remarkable surprise.
SAGAL: That was Baynard Woods. He is the Baltimore author who wrote about his personal experience with LSD microdosing, says got him off Facebook and onto a city bus.
SAGAL: That's good, good, Mr. Woods.
GROSZ: Win win.
SAGAL: Win win. Congratulations. You got it right, Ryan. You earned a point for Tom, and you've won our prize - the voice of Carl Kasell on your voicemail. Well done, sir.
CONNOR: Thank you so much.
SAGAL: Thank you for playing.
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